When pollen counts are high and there are microscopic bugs living on your sheets (yeah, yuck), it can be hard to sleep until your alarm goes off.
If you think your allergies get worse at night, you could be right! There are a few reasons why nighttime symptoms are especially noticeable and persistent just when you need them to disappear most. Some people might even have allergies at night only.
From habit changes to buying bamboo sheets, there are some things you can do to make your sleep life better. Let’s dive in.
It’s Not Your Imagination: Allergies Get Worse at Night
Only 17% of people will allergies say they’re really happy with their sleep. That’s not enough people getting optimal rest.
While you might spend your days blowing your nose or wiping your eyes, it always seems as if lying in bed makes your symptoms worse.
And you’re not wrong.
There are quite a few reasons why allergies get worse at night. Here are a few of the most common offenders:
Bedroom Dust Mites
There are tons of microscopic spiders called dust mites living in your room that can cause nighttime allergies. Don’t panic. Well, maybe just a little. These critters feed on your dead skin cells and they spend a lot of time in your bed since you shed there all night.
Washing your sheets in hot water can only do so much. Dust mites also live in carpet and other fabrics, so they’re bound to be around. The Mayo Clinic says that dust mites inflame your nasal passage, leading to symptoms like a runny nose or congestion.
High Pollen Count
It’s often suggested that pollen counts peak during the day, when the sun is out and insects are hard at work fluttering between flowers. You may have even seen advice to stay indoors during the day and reserve your daily walk for evening hours.
However, some research suggests that pollen levels can be just as high after dark for some types of pollen. If you’re sleeping with the window open, you could be inviting in a ton of allergy triggers.
Pets in Bed
Does your big fluffy dog like to sleep by your feet? It’s pretty charming, but it could also be contributing to your nighttime breathing misery. If you have allergies only at night, this could be the culprit. Not only do pets who spend time outdoors track in mites, pollen, and other allergens – you could have a mild pet allergy and not even realize it.
The anatomy of the nose and throat don’t do you any favors at night. Everything in your nose starts dripping down your throat.
Sneezing, wheezing, and nasal dripping that bother you when you’re upright usually get worse when you’re horizontal.
Common Nighttime Allergy Symptoms
How do you know if you’re having a bedtime allergic reaction? You might just think you tend to get stuffy when you’re tired.
Allergies can manifest in a variety of different ways, but there are a few common symptoms that crop up for most allergy sufferers. If you recognize any of the following symptoms at bedtime, allergens might be to blame.
Do you end up scratching your skin at night because it starts to itch as soon as you hit the mattress? This is par for the course with nighttime allergies. Dust mites can cause your skin to itch – but there may be other culprits at work between the sheets.
Some nighttime itching is indicative of an environmental allergy. If you recently switched laundry detergents or use a new bedtime face cream, consider the fact that you may be allergic to one of them.
Perhaps the most common way nighttime allergies show up are in those breathing impediments we mentioned earlier. Your nose either won’t stop running, or it becomes as clogged as an RV commode on chili night. Either way, it can be hard to breathe normally, signaling your nasal passage is in distress.
Coughing or Snoring
If you breathe in enough allergens, your lungs will retaliate by sending you into a coughing or wheezing fit. It’s no fun for you, and your sleep partner had to invest in military-grade earplugs.
Allergies may also cause bad snoring. If you sleep on your back and your throat becomes swollen and irritated, your breathing passage gets obstructed and you could snore like a log.
How to Relieve Your Allergies So You Can Sleep
There is hope for you if your allergies get worse at night. It’s not all Kleenex boxes and antihistamines from here.
By managing your environment and adding a few healthy habits to your bedtime routine, you could finally sleep through the night without sleep-screaming at 2 am. If these measures don’t work, talk to your doctor about anti-allergy medications or other medicinal interventions that can help.
Close the Windows
If you have a window near your bed, you could be letting in tons of irritants every night. And unlike during the day, when you probably don’t sit right by a window for eight hours at once, you’ll remain in the path of allergens. While it’s nice to get a breeze, you can get a lot of relief by keeping windows closed when pollen counts are high.
Use Hypoallergenic Bedding
Could your duvet cover and sheets be making you feel sick? Yep. Dust mites love to live in mattresses and bedding. Switching to a hypoallergenic option – such as bamboo sheets – can do wonders. Hypoallergenic fabrics are less likely to collect dust mites and other common allergens.
Mites and mold also love to set up shop in carpet. Keep your bedroom carpet well vacuumed (including under your bed). And don’t assume you’re mite free because you have hardwood flooring. Mold can live around baseboards or in crevices, so wipe down the area near your bed and all bedroom baseboards with vinegar (or another mold-killing cleanser).
Dehumidify the Room
Keeping the humidity in the room at a maximum of 50% can also help slow the growth of mold and mite growth. While it won’t eliminate all allergens, running a dehumidifier in your bedroom while you sleep could mean you see fewer symptoms during the night.
Shower at Night
You walk around in the world all day, collecting allergens willy nilly. They get on your shoes and clothes, land in your hair, and settle on your skin. If your allergies get worse at night, try showering before bed instead of in the morning. This habit will help you crawl into bed clean and keep your airways open.
Stop Sleeping with Fido
It hurts to hear it, but you may have to kick your pets out of bed. Even if you’re not allergic to your dog, if he spends a lot of time outdoors, his fur is probably covered in pollen. Brushing your pets before bed may help if they insist on jumping up for sleep time.
The Bottom Line
Is it time to invest in some bamboo sheets and close the windows at sundown? If any of these statements ring true, the answer is probably yes.
- I often feel more stuffed up at night than I do during the day.
- I recently started snoring a lot and wake up with a scratchy throat.
- My nose runs all night and I often have to wake up and blow my nose.
- My skin is itchy when I’m in bed.
- I feel temporary allergy relief right after my sheets are washed, but symptoms are soon back.
- My room sometimes smells moldy or dusty.
- My allergies seem worse in the morning than they do after I’m up for a few hours.
Layla Sleep for Allergy Relief
The time for nighttime allergy relief is now. If your allergies are worse at night, changing your environment could usher in an era of incredible sleep. Buying bamboo sheets and a copper pillow is a great start.
Not only are Layla Bamboo Sheets hypoallergenic, but they also help you keep cool and they can last for up to 1,000 washes.
Pair your new hypoallergenic sheets with a memory foam copper mattress for even more relief. Not only is copper heat wicking and antimicrobial, but memory foam contours to your body better than coil springs.
Stop suffering at night! Turn to Layla Bamboo Sheets to sleep well and sneeze no more. Because when you sleep better, you live better.